Katy Huberty: Apple's iPhone 13 is off to a promising start

Pre-order lead times are up 20% from last year -- longer than they've been since the iPhone X in 2017.

From a note to Morgan Stanley clients that landed on my desktop Monday:

As of Friday, September 17th (the first date of pre-orders for the iPhone 13 family), lead times were 27.5 days for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, 3.1 days for the iPhone 13 mini, and 0 days for the iPhone 13...

This means that iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max lead times are the 2nd longest amongst all iPhone models launched over the past 5 years as of the first pre-order date, surpassed only by the iPhone X in 2017 (14). For comparison, iPhone 12 lead times at the first date of pre-order last year were 0-11 days.

And given that our supply chain checks indicate minimal near-term component headwinds... we believe these long lead times are at least partly a function of strong early demand.

iPhone 13 pre-order data in China from JD.com supports this view, as the South China Morning Post reports Chinese consumers placed more than 2M pre-orders for the iPhone 13 family on Thursday, September 16th, ahead of the 1.5M pre-orders for the iPhone 12 last year due to less competition from Huawei and increased affordability...

While it's still very early days, the combination of long early iPhone 13 lead times and 2H CY21 iPhone builds that are up 20% Y/Y (with new model builds of 87M units, the strongest since 2H CY17) show the iPhone 13 is off to a promising start.

Maintains Overweight rating and $168 target.

My take: The Apple Card's stumble at the starting line couldn't have slowed things down much.


  1. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    What will be overlooked in the early sales numbers for the iPhone 13 series handsets is the iPhone 12 series handsets were released from late October to mid-November last year. For those of us on the Apple iPhone annual upgrade program, we don’t become eligible for the annual upgrade this year (without making the 12th payment early) until mid-October at the earliest. This is a large number of customers that will further the early demand arc for the iPhone 13 series handsets as we look out about a month from initial release.

    September 20, 2021
  2. Don Donofrio said:
    It looks like Apple is trying to circle back on the people who could not check out at a few minutes after the hour and move their ship date up to 9/24.

    I just looked at my order and it is now moved up to 9/24. So – at least Apple is making good on this, at least for a data set of 1.

    ( I first started a chat with an Apple Sales Specialist on line, but I didn’t have to. When I actually looked into it by clicking the link in the order email, the date had already been adjusted back)

    September 20, 2021
  3. About 15:15, Eastern, around 141, somebody involved in Apple buybacks turned on the shop vac. Speculation, yes? Likely, true.

    September 20, 2021
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      somebody involved in Apple buybacks turned on the shop vac.

      Didn’t have to be Apple doing the buying. There’s a lot of institutions that are underweight AAPL. After printing $157 just 9 days ago, <$142 was just too tempting.

      September 20, 2021
  4. Roger Schutte said:
    Many colors + sizes of iPhone 13 Pro at the online store remain available for pickup this Friday at our nearest Apple Store and they’re 4-5 weeks out for delivery.

    September 21, 2021
  5. Timothy Smith said:
    I unsuccessfully tried to buy 13 Pro on Friday at 8:00, and the pickup time was 9/24 at 8:15. I tried an hour later, and the pickup time was 9/24 at 10:15, but sale did not go through. I successfully tried a third time on Monday after noon. Pickup time is 9/24 at 12:15. So 3+ days of orders pushed pickup time only 2 hours.

    September 21, 2021

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